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ASEAN CIOs learn to navigate the data economy

A group of IT leaders in Southeast Asia will converge in Edinburgh this July to delve deeper into issues that have been holding back efforts to become better data-driven organisations

Organisations in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), like their counterparts in other parts of the world, have been facing challenges in taking their organisations forward and remaining competitive in an uncertain global economy.

CIOs are increasingly expected to do more with less, automate processes and redeploy staff to areas where they can focus on innovation projects to take their organisations forward. At the same time, they are grappling with cyber threats and are saddled with legacy infrastructure, applications and processes that are holding them back.

Many of them are looking to address those challenges through a plethora of digital transformation initiatives, many of which are underpinned by data that serves as a foundation for better and faster decision-making amid rapidly changing customer demands.

Years of inattention to data, however, has created a deep web of inaccuracies across the data landscape at many organisations. Some have no central oversight of data, which has impeded their ability to lever­age shared insights and artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives.

These data-related challenges are common to many enterprises. According to a global study conducted by Vanson Bourne, companies reported losing as much as $2m a year because of their inability to manage data on a day-to-day basis. On average, employees lost two hours a day searching for data, resulting in a 16% drop in workforce efficiency.

At CIO Academy Asia’s fourth ConnectGov Leaders Summit in Edinburgh in July 2019, IT leaders from ASEAN and Europe can expect to delve deeper into the issues that have been holding back efforts to make better sense of and monetise their data – particularly in an evolving data and regulatory regime shaped by cyber security concerns.

The choice of Edinburgh as the venue for this year’s summit – themed “Navigating the data economy” – was clear, given the city’s growing stature as the data capital of Europe, having made huge strides in creating a vibrant data ecosystem. It was also recently named the UK’s top city for startups, attracting more foreign investment than any other technology cluster in the UK, outside of London.

More than 100 participants are expected to attend the three-day summit, including notable luminaries in technology and industry. These include Sethu Vijayakumar, director of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics and programme co-director of the Alan Turing Institute UK, and Antonio Gulli, engineering director at Google’s CTO office.

Vijayakumar, a renowned robotics expert, will kick off proceedings with a keynote address on how next-generation robots equipped with machine learning capabilities will enable organisations to benefit from increased autonomy while maintaining oversight of high-level decisions. Gulli will touch on the organisational barriers that need to be torn down to get the most out of the data-driven economy.

Leading Singapore’s public sector contingent is Kwok Quek Sin, senior director of the national digital identity programme at GovTech Singapore, who will offer his perspective on the role of governments in spurring the data-driven economy, as well as managing the conditions for data collection.

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Besides hearing from their peers and industry experts, summit participants can also look forward to experiential site visits and interactions with Scottish agencies, officials and industry leaders who are propelling Scotland’s data initiatives.

They will visit key Edinburgh innovation sites such as the University of Edinburgh’s data-driven innovation hub; Fintech Scotland; and CodeBase, the UK’s largest startup incubator, and home to more than 100 of the country’s top technology firms.

The ConnectGov Leaders Summit is CIO Academy Asia’s flagship event that brings together ASEAN’s IT thought leaders in the public and private sectors to exchange ideas and share insights on building innovative and resilient organisations. Past summits were held in in Bhutan, Mongolia and Estonia.

Computer Weekly is a media partner of ConnectGov Leaders Summit 2019.

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